Cucumbers fresh from the garden, sliced with a little bit of salt, are so much better than what you get from the grocery store. Garden cucumbers are so fresh and delicious and pretty straightforward to grow on your own! We’ll only warn you on one thing, when it comes time to harvest, unlike those grocery store cucumbers, they are prickly! It’s how they naturally protect themselves.
Planting From Seed
- Seed Starting: If you live in cooler climates, it’s a good idea to get a jump start on your gardening season and start cucumbers indoors. Plant in seed starting soil 3 to 4 weeks before you plan to transplant them outside
- Direct Sow: After all danger of frost has passed, plant seeds 1 inch deep and about 2 to 3 feet apart (spacing might change depending on the variety)
- Cucumbers need warmth and sun, so choose a full sun location with a lot of organic matter mixed into the soil
- Plant your cucumbers around two weeks after the last frost date (again, they are heat lovers and need it to be really warm out!)
- Plant near companions like beans, cabbage, lettuce, peas, radish, or tomatoes, access our full companion planting guide here
- Cucumbers are about 90% water so the key to cucumbers is frequent watering. Water, water, water! Hydrate your cucumbers with deep, thorough watering and stay on top of it, inconsistent watering will give you bitter-tasting cucumbers.
- If you are running out of time and have time to only water one thing in your garden, water your cucumbers!
- Consider adding mulch to your soil because it’ll help retain moisture.
Pests and Diseases
- The main pests that affect cucumbers include cucumber beetles, aphids, and spider mites.
- Cucumber beetles will cause yellow, wilted leaves, and holes in your plant. Aphids will cause yellowing, stunted leaves and cover your plant with a sticky substance. They can both be deterred with row covers and by practicing crop rotation. If you already have these pests in your garden, introduce insect predators like ladybugs into the infected areas.
- Spider mites are tiny pests that feed off your plant, leaves may show small spots, curling or other visible damage. Prune infected leaves and get rid of them to stop spread.
- Cucumbers can be susceptible to fungal diseases like powdery mildew. Avoid watering overhead and concentrate on watering at the soil level.
- Read more on acceptance and prevention of garden pests here
- Depending on the variety, cucumbers will usually be ready in 50 to 70 days from planting.
- Harvest them while young and tender so they still have fresh flavor. Otherwise, they may taste bitter if they get too big.
- Don’t be afraid to harvest! Regular harvesting will encourage the plant to continue producing fruit.
Our Recommended Varieties
Marketmore: produce crisp and sweet cucumbers ideal for pickling.
Cucamelon: heat-loving variety which grows well in containers. They’re often referred to as “mini watermelons” for their unique look which sets them apart.